Throwing confetti over the newly married couple is a tradition that’s been present in British Weddings for over two centuries. it symbolises the wish of a fertile marriage.
But, what is it?
Confetti are small pieces or streamers of paper, mylar, or metallic material which are usually thrown at parades, sporting team winners, and celebrations, especially weddings. The origins are from the Latin confectum, with confetti the plural of Italian confetto, small sweet. Modern paper confetti trace back to symbolic rituals of tossing grains and sweets during special occasions, traditional for numerous cultures throughout history as an ancient custom dating back to pagan times, but adapted from sweets and grains to paper through the centuries.
Confetti are made in a variety of colours, and commercially available confetti come in many different shapes. A distinction is made between confetti and glitter; glitter is smaller than confetti (pieces usually no larger than 1mm) and is universally shiny. Most table confetti are also shiny. While they are called metallic confetti they are actually metallized PVC. The most popular shape is the star. Seasonally, Snowflakes are the most requested shape. Most party supply stores carry paper and metallic confetti.
Confetti are commonly used at social gatherings such as weddings. At weddings the confetti canon is most often used to add drama to the newlyweds group photo or first dance. The simplest confetti are simply shredded paper, and can be made with scissors or a paper shredder. Other types often consist of chads punched out of scrap paper. A hole punch can be used to make small round chads. For more elaborate chads, a ticket punch can be used. Most pieces of paper flats will flutter as tumblewings giving flight times because of gliding aerodynamics.
So with the boring history lesson out the way, why would I have confetti at my wedding?
- It’s really good luck! Throwing confetti is a wonderful tradition that symbolises good luck, love and fertility–what better way to start married life? There are lots of wedding customs that make our big day special and remind us of family and culture. Some of them can be a bit silly or strange (did you know bridesmaids were originally there as decoys in case someone tried to steal the bride?!) but we keep them anyway. Confetti is still lots of fun and having your friends and family sprinkle you both with pretty petals, love and good wishes for a long and happy life together, is just lovely!
A photograph to treasure forever. The confetti shot often becomes the most cherished of all wedding day pictures–it beautifully captures the joy and love and excitement of having just got married! Two happy people, newly wed, surrounded by loved ones and a flurry of fluttery petals – it’s the perfect wedding day memory, with everyone having fun, laughing and smiling all in one picture.
The confetti throw marks the end of the formal ceremony and the start of the wedding day celebrations – bring on the champagne and let’s start this marriage in style!
Confetti is great fun – kids love the excitement, girls love the prettiness, boys get surprisingly competitive about it and mums and aunties will be sure to pop your personalised confetti cone into their handbag as a keepsake!
Now that I know why to have confetti at my wedding, what kind do I choose?!
If you’re thinking about traditional paper confetti, choose between delicate tissue hearts or traditional wedding shapes in pretty pastels. The modern, shaped stuff can be disappointing, often including rather crumpled horseshoes and unidentifiable objects, and proving tricky to throw.
The traditional wedding confetti looks great, with pretty pastel shades and classic wedding shapes – an old favourite that is always popular!
It is best to check with your venue first to see if confetti is allowed. Confetti is messy and someone has to clean it up afterwards.
Rose petals have become hugely fashionable, providing a natural, biodegradable charm. Freeze-dried petals are great for tables and throwing, but due to their nature can be brittle. Preserved petals look amazing on tables and are specially treated so that they look and feel fresh offering a softer, more natural finish, and are also available in handbag-size for guests.
Rose petals look lovely when presented in a wicker basket or rustic milk can from which guests can grab a handful, or you can fill our confetti cones for each guest. You can also use petals to sprinkle over a cake, or create stunning table decoration.
TOP TIP: Alternatively, use fabric petals. As well as being inexpensive, they can be amazingly realistic, and work well on cakes (but not in drinks). Fabric petals do not tear as easily as real petals. They are available in a range of colours, and have matching topiary centrepieces available.
Bubbles make a great substitute, and can look very effective for photos. Bubble bottles come in a wide range of styles, from simple coloured bubble bottle, to cake or champagne-bottle shapes. They’re perfect for children at weddings too! If the weather is not on your side the bubbles make a great alternative to do indoors.
And now my favourite…
Twist and pop! The Confetti Cannon launches a spray of paper streamers and confetti. You can get the Confetti to be in the traditional white and silver colours or match the theme colours of the bridal party. The confetti goes flying with a loud POP, turning your wedding into an instant high-energy party zone and showering you and the guests in lots (and I mean LOTS) of confetti!!
The confetti canon is my favourite choice out of all the options as not only does it make it rain confetti, but also gets the your family and friends a chance to be part of the picture, and who can resist using a canon that goes pop!
SAFETY TIP: Party guests should point it away from others and turn it sharply at the bottom to release as the contents is held under pressurized air.